Pine needles & bark ok for coop run?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by backintime, Apr 7, 2008.

  1. backintime

    backintime Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 7, 2008
    Northern Wisconsin
    I recently got a couple of dumptruck loads of chipped pine bark & pine needles from the local utility co. after they trimmed back the trees from area power lines. Am building my FIRST coop and run, and everyone here seems to agree the run gets picked clean of vegetation pretty quickly. Would a couple of inches of this chipped pine bark/needle mix work for the run? Seems fun to scratch in, good drainage (sandy soils beneath it) and should be mold/pest free as it is new. Any thoughts? It will obviously decompose over time; should I leave it and add on top, or rake it all out and replace occasionally?
     
  2. BaronRenfrew

    BaronRenfrew Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would use it. It'll make a good ground cover and will last a long time before breaking down. I would use it for pheasants or other more sensitive birds to mop up the waste.

    I would keep in mind that birds eating greens means better meat and eggs and a slightly lower feed bill. I would suggest a portable coop so that they get more greens, or two runs that you can alternate. I remember a mag article showing a rotation: bird yard year 1 is a vege garden year two and back.

    The chips do look and stay cleaner.
     
  3. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    My girls love to dig in my mulch!! I mean really really really love to dig in my mulch!!!! [​IMG] I've had to cover it all with chicken wire to keep them from digging it all out of my garden beds!!! [​IMG]

    That said

    I think it would really depend on the drainage of the area you coop is in. As long as it drains well, I don't think there will be any problems. All the little creepy crawlies they love to eat will end up under the damp mulch with they will love to dig in!!!

    PS my 5 girls have picked clean the huge run I just built them. When we cut grass, we rake up piles and toss it to them. (we don't use chemicals on the lawn, what grows grows, grass and weeds. Hey it's all green!!) During the winter, I toss them bags of salad greens and such
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2008
  4. backintime

    backintime Chillin' With My Peeps

    212
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    131
    Apr 7, 2008
    Northern Wisconsin
    Gosh, I can't believe the fast responses! You guys are GREAT! We live on sandy soils, everything grows fine but dries out fast. Never a standing puddle, no matter how hard it rains. Am building a 4' X 8' coop for 8 heavy egg layers. Right next to my veggie garden. My first chickens, only had parakeets so far and never an egg. LOL! Am building an insulated shed-type coop due to cold Wisconsin winters. Plus, I want to hang out with the chickens and would rather be inside during snowstorms (a selfish motive!). Am trying to buy as little as possible and use what I have on hand. (Hence the mulch idea for the run) I will have pine shavings on coop floor, unless the mulch would work for that, too? (Help, I have SO MUCH!!) Also, how important is it to paint the concrete floor? Will it prevent odor build-up or just help it dry faster when washed? I'm building the coop into an existing lean-to which already has a metal roof and concrete floor. Will be insulating walls/ceiling. THANKS for caring!
     

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